Marathon County Public Library

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Staff Reviews / Book Reviews

Check out these book reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring reviews of fiction and nonfiction for adults, children and teens! These book reviews also are published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates.

"A Walk in Paris" by Salvatore Rubbino

'A Walk in Paris' by Salvatore Rubbino

★★★★ Accompany a girl and her grandfather on their walk through Paris! All of the splendor of the most well known landmarks of the city are visited and portrayed in a sighteeing tour. The beautiful illustrations and simple story make for a wonderful journey for any young reader. In addition to the story, there are fun facts about Paris on every page for the most inquisitive minds. I was transported to the "City of Light" for a time while readin ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "A Walk in Paris" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects: 76 Useful Things You Can Build to Create Customized Working Spaces and Storage Facilities, Equip the Garden, Store the Harvest, House Your Animals, and Make Practical Outdoor Furniture" by Spike Carlsen

'The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects: 76 Useful Things You Can Build to Create Customized Working Spaces and Storage Facilities, Equip the Garden, Store the Harvest, House Your Animals, and Make Practical Outdoor Furniture' by Spike Carlsen

★★★★★ This book was great! It had a lot of useful tips and building projects that have been added to my must do list. It had a simple, easy-to-read layout and list of materials. The book also contains step-by-step directions with diagrams so the projects are clear and easy to follow. A great book for anyone interested in do-it-yourself projects, homesteading, or sustainable living no matter what your skill level. ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects: 76 Useful Things You Can Build to Create Customized Working Spaces and Storage Facilities, Equip the Garden, Store the Harvest, House Your Animals, and Make Practical Outdoor Furniture" at Goodreads.com. »

"Boy, Snow, Bird" by Helen Oyeyemi

'Boy, Snow, Bird' by Helen Oyeyemi

★★★★ A quick and enchanting read about a girl named Boy. It is hard to say much without spoiling the story, so I'll simply say that I really enjoyed this book! ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Boy, Snow, Bird" at Goodreads.com. »

"Nightingale's Nest" by Nikki Loftin

'Nightingale's Nest' by Nikki Loftin

★★★★★ The music he heard was like nothing he had ever heard before; it was like magic. Twelve-year-old John Fischer is spending his summer helping his father with his tree removal business when he meets a foster child, Gayle, the bird-like girl with the beautiful voice of a nightingale. When they become friends he discovers that her singing helps heal his body and soul. The trouble comes when Mr. King, a deranged rich man, becomes obsessed with ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "Nightingale's Nest" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing" by Sheila Turnage

'The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing' by Sheila Turnage

★★★★ The Desperado Detectives are back! This time, Mo and Dale set out to uncover a ghostly mystery: the murder of Nellie Blake and her haunting of the Tupelo Inn. When Miss Lana accidently purchases the inn at an auction, Mo wants her to turn it into a successful business. But who would want to visit the haunted inn with Nellie creating havoc? This is a great sequel to the first book, Three Times Lucky, and is full of Mo's humor and wit. This ...

Reviewed by Taylor W. Read more reviews of "The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing" at Goodreads.com. »

"Nest" by Jorey Hurley

'Nest' by Jorey Hurley

★★★★★ Robins arrive in the spring, prepare a nest, raise their young throughout the seasons in this beautifully illustrated picture book that is perfect for sharing. With only one word on each page it reads like a poem. The pictures lend themselves to adult-child conversation beyond the words. ...

Reviewed by Katie Z. Read more reviews of "Nest" at Goodreads.com. »

"Keep Quiet" by Lisa Scottoline

'Keep Quiet' by Lisa Scottoline

★★★★★ This was Lisa Scottoline's first book that I have ever read and I will read more. It was very good. As a father you would do anything you could to protect your family, but how far is too far? A father works very hard to provide for his family and sometimes starts to lose touch with his children as they grow up. But not Jake. He wants to be the cool dad; he wants to be a bigger part of his son's life, and Pam, his wife, would like to see th ...

Reviewed by Deb F. Read more reviews of "Keep Quiet" at Goodreads.com. »

"Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)" by Pierce Brown

'Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)' by Pierce Brown

★★★★★ Sixteen-year-old Darrow is a Helldiver, one of a thousand Reds (the lowest caste of society) who live beneath the surface of Mars, mining for an element that will tereform Mars and make it habitable to the people of Earth. After tragedy strikes, Darrow learns that everything he has ever been told is a lie. Mars has been habitable for hundreds of years and all the other colors of society, including the ruling Golds. In order to lead a revol ...

Reviewed by Laura W. Read more reviews of "Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1)" at Goodreads.com. »

"What's Your Favorite Animal?" by Eric Carle

'What's Your Favorite Animal?' by Eric Carle

★★★★★ This book is a wonderful compilation of artwork depicting the favorite animals of famous children’s authors and illustrators. Of course it’s no surprise that Nick Bruel’s favorite is the infamous Bad Kitty; but wait a minute, oh no, I think it really is octopuses; sorry Bad Kitty. Beautiful artwork by well-known children’s illustrators including Lucy Cousins, Susan Jeffers, Jon Klassen, Mo Willems, Chris Raschka and of course ...

Reviewed by Sharyn H. Read more reviews of "What's Your Favorite Animal?" at Goodreads.com. »

"New York Jackie: Pictures from Her Life in the City" by Nan Talese

'New York Jackie: Pictures from Her Life in the City' by Nan Talese

★★★★ NEW YORK JACKIE is a photo-history of the years Jackie Kennedy lived and worked in the big Apple. Taken by a number of photographers, the pix capture her strolling down streets, biking, talking with friends, at work, walking with Caroline and John Jr., attending a Broadway musical, etc. The images date from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s. Whatever the circumstances, they capture a poised, charming and lovely woman...with a dazzling smile. ...

Reviewed by Mike O. Read more reviews of "New York Jackie: Pictures from Her Life in the City" at Goodreads.com. »

"Fear Nothing (Detective D.D. Warren, #7)" by Lisa Gardner

'Fear Nothing (Detective D.D. Warren, #7)' by Lisa Gardner

★★★★★ After Detective D.D. Warren returns to a vicious crime scene where she is confronted by the soon to be called Rose Killer, she awakes with only the memory of a lullaby ringing in her ears. Her extensive injuries send her to a pain specialist who, coincidentally enough, has a genetic condition that prevents her from feeling pain of any kind. But that's not the only secret Dr. Glen is hiding. She is the daughter of the notorious serial kill ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "Fear Nothing (Detective D.D. Warren, #7)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Fear Nothing (Detective D.D. Warren, #7)" by Lisa Gardner

'Fear Nothing (Detective D.D. Warren, #7)' by Lisa Gardner

★★★★ Two sister's who lived in hell. One went to prison, and one felt no pain. Foster home after foster home, one adopted by a doctor. One was a killer and one a doctor, with very special talents. Now after 30 years, the killing starts all over again. D. D. Warren is trying to manage Melvin and work the case. The case she shouldn't be on. Who will kill the "Rose killer"? That is the question. Will the two sisters be ...

Reviewed by Deb F. Read more reviews of "Fear Nothing (Detective D.D. Warren, #7)" at Goodreads.com. »

"TIME The Beatle Invasion!: The inside story of the two-week tour that rocked America" by Bob Spitz

'TIME The Beatle Invasion!: The inside story of the two-week tour that rocked America' by Bob Spitz

★★★★ In February 1964, four talented, cheeky, mop-topped English musicians landed in America, set to undertake a two-week tour and perform on the Ed Sullivan TV show. The Beatles had arrived and America - and the world - would never be the same. THE BEATLES INVASION is an entertaining, nicely-illustrated account of how John, Paul, George and Ringo conquered the hearts of young Americans, therein helping launch a youth revolution that shaped the ...

Reviewed by Mike O. Read more reviews of "TIME The Beatle Invasion!: The inside story of the two-week tour that rocked America" at Goodreads.com. »

"Villains, Scoundrels, and Rogues: Incredible True Tales of Mischief and Mayhem" by Paul Martin

'Villains, Scoundrels, and Rogues: Incredible True Tales of Mischief and Mayhem' by Paul Martin

★★★★ Paul Martin's book introduces readers to 30 Americans of dubious character. Included in this line-up are killers, cannibals, gangsters, confidence men, traitors, spies, crooked cops, witch hunters, quack doctors, gold-diggers and the world's most inept bodyguard, John Parker; just ask President Lincoln! Martin's book is an entertaining and informative look at some people you definitely don't want to spend time with...ever! ...

Reviewed by Mike O. Read more reviews of "Villains, Scoundrels, and Rogues: Incredible True Tales of Mischief and Mayhem" at Goodreads.com. »

"This One Summer" by Mariko Tamaki

'This One Summer' by Mariko Tamaki

★★★★★ Every summer Rose and her parents visit Awago Beach. There are the timeless jokes (Rose's father jokes about Rose being born at the turkey farm) and the old summer only friends, in Rose's case, Windy. This summer is different. Rose's mom and dad aren't getting along and Rose thinks she knows why: Rose's mom wants to have another baby, but her dad doesn't."This One Summer" layers the concerns Rose has about her parent's rela ...

Reviewed by Julie K. Read more reviews of "This One Summer" at Goodreads.com. »

"City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)" by Cassandra Clare

'City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)' by Cassandra Clare

★★★★ A satisfying end to an interesting young adult series, Cassandra Clare does not disappoint fans of The Mortal Instruments with this final installment. The book is over 700 pages, but it’s full of Shadowhunters, lycanthropes, faeries, warlocks, and vampires battling Clary’s evil brother Sebastian and his legion of dark Shadowhunters in Hell. Much of the plot references events in past books, so don’t even think about picking this title ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)" at Goodreads.com. »

"Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir" by Frances Mayes

'Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir' by Frances Mayes

★★★★★ A beautiful memoir about growing up in the south from the author of UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN. Frances Mayes paints an honest picture of her life and shares lessons that she learned along the way. A great read that's hard to put down! ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry" by Gabrielle Zevin

'The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry' by Gabrielle Zevin

★★★★ This book is not only about what the title suggests, the life of A.J. Fikry who is a small town bookstore owner, but also the ways books can change the course of your life. As a librarian, of course I would enjoy a book about how books are involved in people's lives, but it was very interesting to see how the author chooses books to be impactful beyond just reading them. I found the story to be an easy read and an enjoyable story that en ...

Reviewed by Ashley C. Read more reviews of "The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry" at Goodreads.com. »

"Sous Chef" by Michael Gibney

'Sous Chef' by Michael Gibney

★★★★★ Foodies and especially those who have worked in the restaurant industry will enjoy Sous Chef. The second person narrative chronicles 24 hours in the life of a sous chef at an upscale restaurant in New York. There are already plenty of memoirs from celebrity chefs, but the sous chef is usually a footnote in these works, or perhaps the subject of an angry rant when the wrong type of meat is ordered. However, as the reader learns, the sous ch ...

Reviewed by Kathleen K. Read more reviews of "Sous Chef" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Painter" by Peter Heller

'The Painter' by Peter Heller

★★★★★ Peter Heller brings us a beautifully written novel about a famous New Mexico artist names Jim Stegner whose life seems to spiral around in destructive chaos. Jim has a history of violence and loss, but is trying to move forward as he finds a new home that offers him peace and quiet, a place to paint, and great fishing. However, Jim's peaceful existence is not to be, as he comes head to head with a wrong he can't walk away from. A tale of b ...

Reviewed by Bettina P. Read more reviews of "The Painter" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Here and Now" by Ann Brashares

'The Here and Now' by Ann Brashares

★★★★ In "The Here and Now" we meet Prenna, an immigrant not from another country, but another time. Leaving behind the future dying world that has been ravaged by a plague, those few lucky survivors emigrate to the present day. They bring with them twelve strict rules they believe will protect the world they saw destroyed. But when Prenna is frantically warned about an upcoming day that determines the future, she embarks on a journey that not o ...

Reviewed by Sarah M. Read more reviews of "The Here and Now" at Goodreads.com. »

"Sherlock Holmes FAQ: All That's Left to Know about the World's Greatest Private Detective" by Dave Thompson

'Sherlock Holmes FAQ: All That's Left to Know about the World's Greatest Private Detective' by Dave Thompson

★★★★ Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes is probably the most widely-known and beloved character in English literature. His adventures, as chronicled in four novels and 56 short stories, have enthralled millions of people over the decades. Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. Watson, have also been portrayed in dozens of plays, radio programs and films by the likes of Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett and Benedict Cumberbatch. SHERLOCK HOLMES FAQ ...

Reviewed by Mike O. Read more reviews of "Sherlock Holmes FAQ: All That's Left to Know about the World's Greatest Private Detective" at Goodreads.com. »

"The Wind Is Not a River" by Brian Payton

'The Wind Is Not a River' by Brian Payton

★★★★★ This historical fiction captures events during World War II that were held in great secrecy from the American public: a Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. A reporter, John Easley, is shot down while traveling with American troops flying over the bleak and inhospitable island chain. He is unable to communicate with the outside world and considered missing-in-action by the military which are not publicly ackno ...

Reviewed by Karen J. Read more reviews of "The Wind Is Not a River" at Goodreads.com. »

"Going, Going, Gone: 100 animals and plants on the verge of extinction" by Various

'Going, Going, Gone: 100 animals and plants on the verge of extinction' by Various

★★★★★ This 2013 release showcases 100 plants and animals around the globe that are threatened with extinction. Compelling full-color images of each species is complimented by a one-page write-up with a general overview of the species, basic data on remaining numbers/lifespans/threats along with efforts underway to save it along and information on what individuals can do to help. Among the species depicted are North Atlantic Right Whales, Sumatra ...

Reviewed by Mike O. Read more reviews of "Going, Going, Gone: 100 animals and plants on the verge of extinction" at Goodreads.com. »

"An Illustrated Dictionary of the Third Reich" by Jean-Denis Lepage

'An Illustrated Dictionary of the Third Reich' by Jean-Denis Lepage

★★★★ Jean-Denis Lepage's book is a wide-ranging dictionary to 1,650 major and most important German terms associated with Nazism and the Second World War. The book defines/describes various laws, medals, badges, weapons, equipment, persons, organizations, slogans, songs, events, etc. The German-language term is given first followed by its English equivalent and an explanation that could run from a few sentences to two pages. Some of the entries ...

Reviewed by Mike O. Read more reviews of "An Illustrated Dictionary of the Third Reich" at Goodreads.com. »

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